#TBT: It’s a Real-Time Feedback World, So You Might As Well Like It!

Happy #TBT. To celebrate, we’re sharing an oldie-but-goodie post from Jim: It’s a Real-Time Feedback World, So You Might As Well Like It!

Reviews on Goldstar help us track what events our members love.

Reviews on Goldstar help us track what events our members love.

I’m a big fan of public feedback for businesses, live entertainment venues and just about anybody selling/promoting wares of any kind to the world.

That’s true not only because it helps buyers make decisions, but also (and more importantly) because it keeps you, as the producer of whatever is being bought, viewed or discussed, focused on doing a good job and taking care of your audience and/or customers.

When there’s a problem with an event on Goldstar, our very robust feedback system acts like an alarm system in that we know right away that something’s happening that we need to address.

Recently, for example, there was an event on the Goldstar site that, to be candid, was a failure on every level. The trouble was that we had sent hundreds of people to the event, and they were mad. By about midnight of the evening of the event, we already knew this, and by 9:00am the next morning, our customer service recovery plan was already in full swing, while the organizers of the event themselves (and the primary ticketer) were still trying to piece together what happened.

The end result is that for some people at least, even though they had a bad experience with the event, they walked away with a good impression of Goldstar. We got a lot of props (even a few “mad” props) in the social media world: People said we set a “good example” for other companies to follow, and generally appreciated that while we had sold them tickets to a lousy event, we identified it right away and swung into action on their behalf.

And this was all made possible by a real-time feedback system. Without it, we would have been much slower to react, may perhaps have gotten behind the curve and ended up looking even worse.

But even that system is slow compared to what’s happening now. This article makes the point that a stream of real-time “review-like” information about shows and concerts and events begins to pour out of mobile devices even while the event is still going on. Here’s a key tidbit:

“A few minutes into last night’s U2 show at FedEx Field (yes, it was awesome), I noticed my friend Sonia tapping on her phone’s keypad, then spied Facebook’s logo on the screen — she was uploading the picture she’d just taken of the band’s enormous stage.”

The story goes on to talk about other examples of this and is well worth a quick read, but what strikes me about this is that individually, a single gushing post saying, “OMG! U2 Rocks!” along with a blurry picture of a stage doesn’t tell you much, but when it accumulates in a stream like it does on Twitter, it tells you a lot.

One thing it tells you is how people felt about the show during the show, as opposed to when their emotions and memories had cooled a bit.

But the author of this piece also makes the point that this kind of thing is less acceptable at a play or other of the more staid performing arts.

Should it be?

Wouldn’t it be good to facilitate this kind of thing? Obviously, quiet is more important at a play than at a rock concert, but provided someone is discrete, should this be discouraged?

And don’t get me started on restrictions on taking photographs during performances. This is one of the most backward-looking, protect-what’s-mine attitudes I’ve ever heard. You’re not talking about people trying to make money from your work. You’re talking about fans, using phone cameras mind you, who are just trying to spread the word about your show.

If you’re afraid of that, you probably have good reasons to be afraid for your future success. Fortunately, most performers, shows and venues don’t need to worry about that because people actually like them.

And that’s the point. People who are in your venue are inclined to like you. Let them talk about you in whatever way you can. Make it easier, embrace it, use it in your marketing strategy.

Because it’s happening anyway. You might as well find a way to revel in it!

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